The appointment of Kayode Egbetokun as the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) has generated so many reactions from Nigerians both at home and abroad. Some have labelled his appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as getting the right man to do the job in a country faced with lots of security challenges that have driven the country to the abyss of civil and political unrest.
His appointment, one of the several appointments made by the president to reorganise the security infrastructure of the country, is seen as taking a more nationalistic approach to solve the myriad of challenges facing the country and a diversion from the one-sided appointments that characterised the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shortly after his appointment as the new boss of the Nigerian Police Force, Egbetokun promised to deal ruthlessly with crime, urging the entire police force and Nigerians to give him their support.
“Now that I have just been decorated, I am looking forward to taking over tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. I really can’t describe how I feel presently, but I feel like a tiger inside of me right now, ready to chase away all the criminals in Nigeria,” Egbetokun said.
The former IGP of Police, Baba Alkali, had expressed confidence in the ability of Egbetokun to reorganise the police force, drive professionalism, and reduce the rate of criminality in the country.
His appointment has not gone unnoticed, as many Nigerians using several social media platforms have expressed their confidence or reservations over his ability to change a police force low in morale, dented in public image, and plagued by corruption scandals.
On Twitter, Kayode Egbetokun became a trending topic shortly after his appointment, generating as many as 7,000 tweets.
Fisayo Soyombo, with over 178,000 followers and a long history of tracking corruption cases in the Nigerian police and judiciary systems, expressed his reservations over his appointment.
“We won’t be needing long before discovering if Kayode Egbetokun, the acting IGP, will revolutionise the police or end up as “one of them”. It will take just a few days, max one week,” he tweeted.
We won’t be needing long before discovering if Kayode Egbetokun, the acting IGP, will revolutionise the police or end up as “one of them”.
It will take just a few days, max one week.
— ‘Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) June 21, 2023
Soyombo’s comment stems from a discovery of a case that happened when Egbetokun was the Kwara State Commissioner of Police. In it, with the support of other senior police officers, they frustrated the “prosecution of a carjacking ring uncovered by cops Glorious Babatunde and Shola Akano”, the journalist said.
Another Twitter user, Oladotun, reacting to his appointment said, “I was just thinking this yesterday that reinstating the guys will be the first thing he’ll do, having reportedly expressed regrets in dismissing them at the time… This, together with your submissions above, will definitely largely define how his leadership and headship will be.”
Another Twitter user, Klinsman, reacting to Soyombo’s tweets, said that he would end up being the worst IGP. According to him, “He was selected just to do his masters’ bidding. Expect nothing from him.”
Dammy Francos, a Labour Party supporter, said, “He was the one that supervised the heist-called election in Rivers State, where @GovWike had all his way. He cannot be different.”